Recipe for a Non-Wheat Cake
From Esther Leisher
At the October Waldorf in the Home conference in Boulder some of you asked for the recipe that I use for making a non-wheat cake. Here it is, based on millet. Double the recipe if you are going to make the winter scene for Celebrating a Winter Birthday.
You can replace 1/2 cup of millet flour with barley flour if you prefer. Using all millet flour, though, makes a remarkably delicious cake. Use goat yogurt if cow's milk bothers your children. Goat butter is also now available. The reason for the yogurt is that when you mix acidic yogurt and alkaline baking soda you get more leavening. It is one more way to make the cake lighter. Whole grains are heavy, inevitably.
Wheat-Free Vanilla Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F
Oil and flour cake pans
Sift together (be sure to presift the millet flour to get the gritty stuff out):
2 C fine millet flour
(Arrowhead Mills makes it; if you grind your own it will be too gritty. You can substitute a mixture of barley and rice flours, 1-1/2 C rice flour with 1/2 C barley flour, but then it will be heavier.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Cream 1/2 C butter or use 1/4 c butter with 1/4 c oil) with
1/2 C clover honey (or 12 drops liquid stevia with 1/2 C maple syrup)
and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Experiment with other sweeteners. I switched to stevia and maple syrup later, but honey is better--makes it more moist. Using all stevia may leave a bitter taste, and it is too sweet for me. I never used more than 12 drops of liquid stevia. I think I used 1/2 C maple syrup with the stevia. All this was long ago and I tended to keep some recipes in my head, not in a recipe box, so use whatever sweetener you usually use for cakes and adjust the amount of liquid so that you get a thick batter.
Add 3 egg yolks, one at a time. Beat well. ( 2 egg yolks if you use some barley flour)
Add 1/2 C yogurt to 1/2 C water. Mix.
Sift (yes, you do sift it again, it adds air) 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the honey-butter-vanilla-egg mix and beat well.
Add 1/3 of the yogurt-water mix and beat well.
Alternate, adding sifted dry, then wet, beating well after each addition. Add more flour if necessary to make the batter thick.
Beat 6 egg whites until stiff. I add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, but if you don't have it, the recipe works without it.
Fold the batter into the egg white carefully, trying to preserve as much air as possible.
It is the egg whites that make the cake light enough to be considered a birthday cake instead of a coffee cake. I put the egg whites into a big mixing bowl to whip, then there is enough space to carefully add the batter to the stiff egg whites. That works better than folding the egg whites into the batter (as most recipes suggest).
Spoon the batter into the oiled and floured cake pans (2 or 3 depending on how thick you want the layers to be). Spread it so the sides are a little higher than the middle. It evens out when it bakes.
Bake ~ 25-30 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before turning the cakes out onto cooling racks.
When it is cool, cut chunks and arrange them to make "hills," then frost the cake with the sweetened whipped cream "snow." The whipped cream will cover up some of your miscalculations.
Place the skiers and sledders on the snow and the skaters on the pond.
Whipped Cream Frosting
I whipped a pint of organic heavy cream and added 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or clover honey (stevia works, too) but do it however you usually do. Two tablespoons of maple syrup will not be sweet enough for most people. Whip the cream until it is really thick; too runny, and it will run down the "hills." I chilled the beaters and the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before beginning. It seems to help.
There are lots of other ways to make a non-wheat cake. Angel food cake using barley flour or spelt flour works. Angel food cake is easy to sculpt into hills. You can even find recipes that use hazelnut flour . . . . mmmmmm.
If you double the recipe you can make a larger cake and have some left over. My kids used to say that what they liked best about a birthday is that the next day they got to eat cake for breakfast. I was okay with that because this cake is very nourishing and filling, has no sugar, and all of the ingredients are organic.
Send me your non-wheat cake recipes and I'll have a file on hand for anyone who wants it. Eleisher@aol.com --Esther Leisher